Thursday, June 23, 2016

Interview with "Dancing With The Pen II" Contributor Katie Wagman

Today we are kicking off our special Dancing With The Pen II blog tour with an interview with young writer Katie Wagman, whose story "Bobby" is featured in the book. Order a personalized copy of Dancing With The Pen II: a collection of today's youth writing here or on Amazon here.

What would you like readers to know about you as an introduction? 

My name is Katie Wagman and I am twelve years old. I'm in seventh grade and I live in Camarillo, California. Besides writing, I like to read, do gymnastics, and hang out with friends. I'm on a gymnastics team and have been for about three years now.

Describe your piece that was published in Dancing With The Pen II.

My piece is called "Bobby." It tells about a troublemaker student who overhears one of her teachers talking suspiciously. Believing he was up to no good, she convinces her friend to break into his house. What she finds surprises her. Her teacher has been teaching under a fake name. He's looking for a student. His son. But his intentions, surprisingly, were not to do harm. When her principal catches her, things take a turn. But the question is, will it be for better or worse?

I got my idea for this piece after seeing a commercial about families being split up. Parents and children never to see each other again. I didn't know what to think of it. So I got out a pencil and wrote.

Have you been writing for a long time? What do you like about writing? 

I've been writing for about five years, though I've only recently begun sharing my writing with others. I love many things about writing. One thing is that I'm in charge. I can create a world of my own. I'm in control. Because life is like a roller coaster. And sometimes it feels like someone else is operating. But when I'm writing, it's like I'm the one behind the controls.

What does it mean to you to have your piece included in this book?  

When I found out my story was going to be published in this book, I had just gotten into the car after school. When my dad told me, I was a bit shocked. Especially because I had forgotten I'd sent Dallas the story in the first place. That night, my dad cooked. I know it doesn't sound like much but he is amazing with food. In my opinion, better than most restaurants.

Do you have any advice for other writers, or for other young people going after their dreams?

My advice to other writers or people following their dreams is: don't be afraid. Don't let anyone tell you you can't do it (though it would be wise to listen to advice.) Try your best. You're going to make mistakes, it's how you learn from them that matters. Never give up. Do what you love.

Can you share a few of your favorite books or authors? 

Some of my favorite books are:
- The Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett
- The Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling
- Wonder by R.J Palacio
- The Hunger Games series by Susan Collins
- The Matched series by Ally Condie
- I also read MANY stories on an app called Wattpad.

What inspires you? 

People. People inspire me. You don't have to be a super hero to do great things. War veterans, cancer survivors, Special Ed students. All these people. They're the extraordinary ones.

What are you working on now? What’s next for you? 

Currently, I am working on a novella and (hopefully) a full-blown novel. I also write other short stories and poems on the side. I am hoping to publish the novel if possible.


Katie Wagman is an eleven-year-old seventh-grader. She enjoys writing and gymnastics. School fascinates her; she loves learning new and interesting things. Additionally, she enjoys hanging out with friends and family. She particularly likes the stars. They take her to a world beyond our own and get her thinking!


Order Dancing With The Pen I & Dancing With The Pen II directly (personalized copies available!) or via Amazon.

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